you’ll know it’s an exacting discipline."
After a few moments, regaining his composure, he then raised his hand to his heart and continued. Although I don't remember the exact words his interpreter used, the point seemed obvious. The One True Mind resides in our Heart.
That certainly resonates with my own understanding. It's all a matter of Heart. It seems to me that Jesus -- and the Beatles -- had it right. Love is all you need. It's just that simple. But it ain't easy. The Practice of True Kindness and Compassion is, like the Stephan Gaskin pointed out years ago, an exacting discipline.
Conditioned as we are in society on materialistic overdrive, it sure doesn't feel that way for most of us much of the time, right? That's what led me to meditation. Following a deep yearning in my heart of hearts, I was intent on "getting it together"to live a life of Integrity.
Then, at a certain point in meditation, I realized that I actually AM the person I wish to be--and always have been! At that moment, in a torrent of tears, I knew that with all my flaws, with my abundant neuroses and conditioned patterns, that I was absolutely perfect as is--and so is everybody else!
What an absolute Hoot!
It Just Takes Practice
Of course, as Zen Master Suzuki-roshi once said: “
"If we are all already perfect, why bother practicing meditation?" I've seen that question asked in any number of ways over the years.
Though it does certainly seem to defy logic, the answer, for me at least, is pretty clear: Both on and off the cushion, Practice doesn't make perfect. Practice is perfect. And, like Life itself, it is a verb, not a noun. Moment to moment, Practice continuously flows from and returns to the Heart's yearning-- and it's fulfillment.
A Matter of Heart
It seems to me that the heart of the matter is that it is all a matter of the Heart. In the gentle caring of an open heart, we can actually see what each moment brings to us more clearly. We may actually be able to be kind, to help out when needed. As the Dalai Lama points out, it's as simple as that. But, once again, simple doesn't mean easy. It takes Practice.
I'm grateful to the Teachers and Teachings that I've stumbled across over these past decades for pointing that out--and for the Teachers and Teachings that continue to grace my life each day.
But, please, don't take my word for any of this. See for yourself. Practice.
I think I'll go Sit now.
How 'bout you?